At 19 years old, Maurice was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He had been present at the scene of a murder and did not intervene. Making amends for the loss of someone’s life while determining the future of his own would become a key focus of the majority of Maurice’s existence.
While incarcerated, Maurice worked – earning just $3.35 an hour – for nearly 15,000 days of his life.
41 years | 492 months | 14,965 days | 359,160 hours
Despite the skills and work experience he gained while serving time, he struggled to find work for five months after his release. That’s when one of our transitional workers told him about Chrysalis. Maurice immediately enrolled in our program and worked closely with his Employment Specialist to build a resume and practice for interviews.
Not long after, Maurice was hired in a transitional role with Project Roomkey. He later went on to accept a street maintenance position with Chrysalis Works and was eventually referred to LA:RISE. Through that program, he received a laptop, transportation assistance, and job leads outside of our employment social enterprise.
“I got out of prison and needed the help, and ya’ll were there for me. I didn’t know what I was gonna do. It’s been a true blessing to be in your program.”
Today, Maurice is a maintenance worker and driver for Upward Bound House, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating homelessness among families with children. Day to day, this involves tasks ranging from ensuring that their housing facilities are clean and up to State requirements to assembling cribs and delivering candy to children of residents on Easter Sunday.
While incarcerated, Maurice prayed for two things: mercy and grace. He has made amends for past events and celebrates that every day presents a new opportunity to move forward. He celebrates having meaningful, stable employment, being housed, and shares that among the greatest blessings he has today are his daughter and wife, who he met shortly after release. Her name is Grace.
His positive outlook and determination to seize every opportunity are palpable. Maurice is a testament to the fact that no one is defined by their past. Rather, they are in control of their perspective and response to their current circumstances. To those who might be navigating a similar situation, he shares, “You need to get your feet wet to succeed. There is help out there for you. You got to try and try again until you succeed.”